Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Basil Summer Rolls

 One of my favorite quick service restaurants is Mama Fu's, we just call it the Fu, and whenever we're thinking about where to go for lunch, the Fu is always mentioned. It is very healthy (if you order the right thing - steamed veggies, brown rice, sauce on the side), there are tons of vegetarian options, and it's fast. When dining with a temper-tantrum prone one and a half year old, getting food on the table as fast as possible is key. The basil summer rolls are one of my favorite dishes there because they're so fresh tasting, full of herbs and peanuts, and they hit the table in a minute or less after you order. The only downside is the price, $8 for 4 rolls, which isn't terrible, but I can make them at home for pennies. So I did!

Rather than just use rice noodles in the filling, I sliced up some napa cabbage from the CSA to bulk up the noodles and add even more veggies to the dish. The combination of fresh mint, basil and cilantro gives these rolls a ton of flavor, the bean sprouts and peanuts add some crunch, and the peanut dipping sauce takes them over the top. I like to give my peanut sauce a hefty squirt of sriracha for spice!

Basil Summer Rolls
inspired by Mama Fu's, sauce from

12 rice paper rolls
1 oz. cellophane rice noodles
2 c. thinly sliced napa cabbage
1 c. fresh bean sprouts
1 large carrot, shredded
2 tbsp. fresh chopped mint
2 tbsp. fresh basil, julienne
2 tbsp. fresh chopped cilantro
1 tbsp. sesame oil
2 tbsp. chopped peanuts
2 tbsp. peanut dipping sauce (recipe follows)

peanut sauce (I quartered this)
3/4 c. creamy peanut butter
1/4 c. plus 2 tbsp. water
3 tbsp. hoisin sauce
2 tbsp. fresh lime juice
2 tbsp. soy sauce
1 tbsp. sugar
2 tsp. chile-garlic paste
1 garlic clove, pasted (I used 1 tsp. dried garlic)
1/2 tsp. sesame oil (omitted)

First, make the sauce by whisking together all ingredients.
Next, make rice noodles according to package, drain, roughly chop and toss in a large bowl with sesame oil.
Chill noodles, toss with remaining ingredients except rice paper rolls.
Dip rolls in warm water for 10 seconds, place on a cutting board, fill with 1/4 c. noodle mixture, roll. 
Continue until you run out of rice paper wrappers or filling, it should be close! 
Serve with dipping sauce and sriracha on the side.


Joanne said...

I love summer rolls also and somehow don't make them very often...but that peanut dipping sauce you've posted is calling to me. Totally going on the menu soon!

NZ Vegetarian said...

Wow these look perfect for summer, and they're gluten free too! Definitely on my list.